The trade division of the Queensland Government, Australia, is bullish about entertainment opportunities in India. The commission may also look at revising the minimum spend requirements which are currently at US$1 million. Queensland has played host to the crew of many Indian projects including 'Dil Chahta Hai,' and is looking to win back Indian film producers from South Africa, Mauritius, and Scandinavian countries.
A contingent of representatives from the industry and the trade commission are in India to explore options in the country for diverse segments including film, animation, entertainment, hospitality, sports, education and manufacturing.
"We have always believed that there is a lot of potential in this country. Our challenge is that the incentives being offered currently are not customised for the Indian market. We are currently studying what can be done for Indian producers. We will go back and reassess the incentives on offer," said Kylie Cross, Senior Marketing and Locations Advisor, Pacific Films and Television Commission, the Film Commission of the Government of Queensland.
She explained that with the primary market having been the US, UK and Europe till date, the minimum spend was appropriate and that now there was a need to rethink on that with the Indian market becoming a focus area.
Gayle O'Brien, Director, Business Development, (South Asia), Trade Division for the Queensland Government, said, "We have worked with Indian companies for a long time now in segments like entertainment. Films like Lakshya, Dhoom and Dil Chahta Hai have been shot at or worked on in Queensland. There is tremendous potential we see here and we're assessing the market now."
The regional film market too is being looked at seriously by Australian firms. Said Chayan Sarkar, of Bollywood Dreams, an Entertainment Consulting firm in Brisbane, "I am making a trip to Chennai because I think we are missing out on the regional market. There is a huge potential down in South India in places like Chennai and Hyderabad."
The Griffith Film School is assessing the market and is in talks with senior players from the industry, according to a university spokesperson who is part of the contingent. "The Australian film Industry produces 12-15 feature films a year, and creates several thousand hours of television programming for the five free to air and around 100 pay channels we have," he said.
It isn't just Queensland whose trade commission is bullish on India. Currently two states of Australia, Queensland and Western Australia have a presence of their trade commissions here. Shortly, trade commissions from Victoria and South Australia will also be setting up offices in India. As part of the measures to woo the Indian entertainment industry, a bouquet of Malayalam films is to be screened at the Brisbane Film Festival in July 2005.